5 More Things to Know About High School Consolidation in Bloomfield Hills
The planning for a public bond to fund unifying Andover and Lahser high schools under one roof continues.
A unified Bloomfield Hills High School is slated to open on one or two campuses in the fall of 2013. The Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education and administration is entering the third week of town hall meetings on the pending bond to fund construction at the Andover High School site.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about five things you should know about consolidation heading into 2012. Here's another update on developments and the big decisions looming ahead:
Aside from the dollar figures attached to the bond, which depending on the options chosen have been estimated anywhere between $58 million to $82 million, everyone wants to know when they're going to the polls.
Superintendent Rob Glass said the benefits to a May election outweigh those of waiting until November. Voting in May, he said, will enable the district to:
- Optimize savings in both construction time and materials.
- Ensure a two-year transition for students instead of three.
- Capitalize on 'informational momentum' as the vote will be closer in time to the seiries of town hall meetings.
- Give parents and staff some certainty by the end of this school year.
Glass said the drawbacks to a May election are lower voter turnout and a cost of about $60,000 to administer the special election.
Waiting until November ensures a higher turnout and no cost to the district, however, according to Glass, it could:
- Delay reopening the Andover site to students until 2015.
- Squelch any momentum gained by the town halls and informational campaigns.
- Cost the district roughly $1.4 million in operational savings, as well as likely increases in construction materials.
What's in a Name?
Students currently in ninth, 10th and the middle school grades have been voting between the top choices a new school mascot and official colors via the district’s internal online communications management system.
The top choices for mascot, so far:
The leading choices for color combinations, so far:
- Black and blue
- Blue and gold
- Silver, purple and black
Voting will continue through today and final selections will be announced in February.
Consolidating high schools means merging athletic teams and their respective coaching staffs. Ed Bretzlaff, assistant superintendent of instruction, said the criteria for hiring the first coaches at the new Bloomfield Hills High School is established, as well as a timeline.
Selection of the new coaches will begin at the conclusion of each sport's respective seasons in the 2012-2013 academic year. Bretzlaff said the interview team will consist of district Athletic Director Avis Najor and the current high school principals and athletic coordinators. A second round of interviews, if necessary, will include an assistant superintendent, Bretzlaff said.
Need to know numbers
- 8 years: how long the district has grappled with the high school question.
- $183: What the owner of a home with a taxable value of $300,000 would pay annually under the district's tentative proposal.
- $35 million: The costs of required maintenance at both Andover and Lahser High School should the bond fail.
Superintendent Glass will lead four town hall meetings this week, beginning at 7 p.m. tonight at the West Hills Middle School cafeteria. Other meetings this week are at:
- 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in meeting room #1 at the Bloomfield Township Public Library.
- 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at the Conant Elementary School media center.
- 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bloomfield Hills City Hall.
Read Patch blogger Brandon Kaufman’s post about these forums and a full list of forums is available in the attached PDF.